I humbly reiterate my name that we don’t push the frequent man past the abyss. The camel is already loaded with a gargantuan mountain of straw. One other “insignificant” straw – and one thing may break!

The Nigerian Camel is robust, resilient, affected person, however not unbreakable. You possibly can stack kilograms on kilograms of straw on her again and all the things seems advantageous till you throw out the final straw. And the load and the transporter embrace the mud.

One man whose final straw perception appears to talk to the Nigerian state of affairs is blogger Greg Smith. It tells the story of a circus that did not know when to cease placing straw on straw, till the camel’s again broke.

“Did you hear the story of the person within the circus, close to the camel enclosure?” He was seen choosing up a stalk of hay and heading in the direction of one of many dromedaries. He fastidiously laid the dried blade of grass on the brown fur of his hump. Nothing occurred. The person shrugged his shoulders and mentioned, “Ah, dangerous straw! and left dissatisfied.

“Clearly he was searching for the straw that broke the camel’s again. And he missed the purpose of the outdated saying. A straw is a small factor. It actually cannot do something unsuitable. However added collectively, the small straws are a heavy burden. And as you place extra straws on a camel’s again, theoretically they may get progressively heavier till there’s one final straw that provides the additional fraction of an oz. that stands proud. the tensile power of the vertebrae of this workhorse. The final straw is just not the final in itself. “

He may have written a metaphor for the Nigerian state of affairs.

The Nigerian individuals have been on the mercy of a system that makes them poorer each time the nation makes more cash from the sale of oil. Paradox of Paradoxes: Each time the worldwide worth of crude oil rises and Nigeria earns more cash than anticipated, residents should pay extra for native consumption. Over time, state-owned refineries have been downsized to the purpose that petroleum merchandise are actually imported for consumption, as if Nigeria is just not an oil-producing nation. And the one importer is one other authorities “sick child” – the Nigerian Nationwide Petroleum Company (NNPC).

Mele Kyari, the corporate’s group chief government, just lately despatched a discover to a baffled nation that extra dangerous information was on the best way. “Right now, PMS sells throughout our borders anyplace above N300 to considered one of our neighbors. And in some locations it is as much as N500 and N550 per liter, ”he says. He warned that the NNPC would now not function a subsidy scheme no matter its title.

Nigerian officers are used to evaluating cucumber to mango. Which of our neighbors is as blessed as we’re? Why can we at all times choose characters out of context to justify launching extra painful applications on our individuals? We all know that if we refine our personal crude at house, the value of gasoline will likely be about half of what we’re paying now. However we select to go on the ache of our corruption and incompetence to the individuals.

The rising worth of petroleum merchandise, because the world ravaged by COVID-19, has resulted in larger freight charges by land, sea and air. This has had a skyrocketing impact on the price of items, particularly meals and home items.

This was the identical nation the place we paid 6k (six kobo) per liter for gasoline till 1973 when the Gowon administration raised it to eight.45k. Since then, successive administrations have pushed the value up till the current second, once we are advised that the federal government’s incapability to refine oil at house is our collective fault. Simply take a look at the trajectory: Murtala Mohammed raised the value on the pump to 9k; Obasanjo took it to fifteen.3 km; Shagari elevated it to 20k; in 4 totally different installments, Babangida elevated the value to 39.5k, 42k, 60k and 70k.

Shonekan catapulted the value to N5; Abacha took him to N11; Abubakar walked it to N20; Obasanjo in his second coming has elevated the value seven instances in eight years, ending at N75; Yar’Adua, in sympathy with the individuals, lowered the value to N65, the one president who didn’t improve the value of gasoline; Jonathan jacked up the value to N141 and, following protests, lowered it to N97 and additional to N87. Buhari has now elevated the value to N165, relying on the place you refuel. That is the value that NNPC, the company that presides over the opaque and incompetent system of importing what we must be exporting – needs to push additional into the stratosphere.

We just lately elevated the Worth Added Tax (VAT) from 5 p.c to 7.5 p.c. We’re advised that Nigeria has one of many lowest VAT charges on the earth in comparison with Ghana’s 12.5 p.c, and South Africa and Kenya 15 p.c and 16 p.c respectively. Nonetheless, in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, small companies are usually not topic to VAT.

Ghana has a threshold of about ₦ 13 million in annual turnover, whereas Kenya’s is ₦ 17 million and South Africa’s is ₦ 23 million. As well as, there are a whole lot of incentives given to firms to make use of extra individuals, not like right here the place every kind of obstacles are positioned in the best way of firms, forcing a few of them to shut store and ship extra individuals. individuals within the unemployment market.

The rising worth of petroleum merchandise, because the world ravaged by COVID-19, has resulted in larger freight charges by land, sea and air. This has had a skyrocketing impact on the price of items, particularly meals and home items. Many extra households are skirting the skinny line between naked existence and begging.

And now Nigerian financial institution prospects face extra burdens, because the central financial institution ordered them to pay N 6.98 for utilizing Unstructured Supplementary Service Information (USSD). This, in a rustic the place banks and telecommunications firms report income within the a whole lot of billions, even in instances of financial recession. Think about an individual who needs to purchase N100 airtime having to pay a couple of 7% “penalty” for utilizing the USSD. Possibly the authorities need us to return to the times when queues at banks rivaled these at bus stops.

USSD is a game-changer in reaching monetary inclusion. Sixty p.c of the telephones utilized in Nigeria are multifunction telephones, the place 3G connectivity solely surpassed 2G final yr. USSD permits customers to conduct monetary transactions with out banking functions, with out the Web. To point out simply how financially inclusive improvement is, offers valued at ₦ 390 billion had been made with USSD in June 2020 alone.

It appears persons are solely seen as beasts of burden; the proverbial camel. However how lengthy can they proceed to hold the load earlier than they collapse or retaliate?

Plainly persons are seen solely as beasts of burden; the proverbial camel. However how lengthy can they proceed to hold the load earlier than they collapse or retaliate?

We’re in a rustic of a millionaire for one million beggars. In 2018, in an article titled “Giving Oil Blocks to States”, I spoke of a break with the present system the place oil blocks that would have contributed to bettering the usual of dwelling of our persons are repeatedly supplied to pals of the federal government. . I wrote amongst others:

“A 2013 report discovered that Nigeria had a complete of 388 oil blocks, of which round 173 had been awarded to people and companies, whereas 215 blocks had but to be awarded. Of the 173 allotted, foreigners owned 83 blocks whereas Nigerians owned 90. In response to the then Petroleum Sources Division (DPR), the 83 allotted to overseas oil firms accounted for 94% – 2.35 million barrels. per day of the entire. exit. Nigerian gamers took the scales. This state of affairs has not modified a lot immediately.

“On the floor, these numbers do not sound alarming. However given the billions of {dollars} at stake, the patronage system of treating oil blocks as birthday presents to these whose power-holders are delighted is nothing however unfair. This can’t be justified in any regulation or man-made conference.

Basic Abacha might have been such a ruthless “goalkeeper” – as slices of his booty are nonetheless repatriated immediately – however his compensated buying and selling system of giving oil in alternate for the calls for of the federal government served to reduce the switch of extra burdens on the individuals. Within the present system, we personal the home, however we’re in comparison with the youngsters of the tenants; we personal the oil however should undergo greater than nations with out oil.

I humbly reiterate my name that we don’t push the frequent man past the abyss. The camel is already loaded with a gargantuan mountain of straw. One other “insignificant” straw – and one thing may break!

Wole Olaoye might be reached by way of wole.olaoye@gmail.com.



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